Good evening everyone. If you’re like me, you are a fan of Rocky Movies. I was walking during my lunch break yesterday (Thursday, June 2nd to be exact), and I was thinking about a trial I’m experiencing in my life. And I saw clips of Rocky 3 in my mind. In Rocky 3, Rocky (played by Sly Stallone) doesn’t face tough opponents until he accepts to fight Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T). Now, for many of us, we are coasting through life. Not everyone can say that, I sure can’t. And you haven’t met a challenge of some sort (whether it be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional or financial). Well, Rocky takes on that challenge and loses the fight and the belt. Now, the question is, why did Rocky lose that fight? Rocky didn’t properly train for that fight, he was training like he did for those fights that weren’t tough opponents. Clubber Lang trained like a pit bull for that. Rocky didn’t study his opponent. Now, you have to study your opponent and take nothing for granted. This is how spiritual warfare is. You have to study your opponent. My pastor said to us men, that we can’t have a causal disposition with a vicious devil! And that is so true! You can’t fight a spiritual war without proper preparation. The main thing you have to understand is that Ephesians 6:12 has to be on lockdown in your spirit and in your mental understanding.
Let’s move to the second fight within Rocky 3. Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) trains Rocky as Apollo was Rocky’s opponent in the first two Rocky movies. As the second fight begins, each fighter is in their corners. This is where you regroup, recalibrate and refocus. After the first round, Clubber Lang is stunned. That’s how you know you have the upper hand. The second round, Clubber Lang comes back hard and the part that stuck out at me was when Rocky said “You ain’t so bad, you ain’t nothing!” That’s confidence even though Clubber nor Apollo understood it. And our enemy is nothing no matter what he throws at you. It may not “FEEL” like it in the natural, that’s why that understanding of Ephesians 6:12-18 is so important. Mind you in the second round that Clubber tried to keep him in the corner to where Rocky was at Clubber’s mercy and he actually knocked Rocky now. Rocky would eventually get us. In this spiritual war, the enemy wants to keep you in the corner to take you out and eventually take you out of the game. Remember what Rocky said to Clubber, he’s nothing. When Apollo confronts him asking what he’s doing, Rocky says “I know what I’m doing.” Apollo got it right, and said, don’t just know, DO IT! And that’s what we’re missing. A lot of people know the Bible, but aren’t doing it! This is why so many Christians are getting their head bashed repeatedly. In the third and final round, Rocky eventually implements his strategy and the training Apollo taught him and knocks him out winning the belt.
In the fourth Rocky, Apollo and Rocky are confronted with a Russian boxer named Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren). Now, if Apollo would’ve taken Rocky’s advice and learned more about their opponent and trained like he taught Rocky, Apollo would’ve stood a chance against Drago. Tragically, Apollo dies in the ring in the second round. Rocky studied his opponent and watching Apollo lose his life, Rocky trains like his life depended on it. And Rocky went the distance with Drago going all 13 rounds to eventually win the fight.
Understand this, in this life, we have to go the distance with the devil, and you have to stay on guard with the Word of God, hearing it and doing it – when it feels good, and when it doesn’t feel good. Just wanted to encourage you as this encouraged me yesterday.
The Mayne Man